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Durant, Sonics aim to rebound in homer opener vs. Suns

Nov 1, 2007 - 1:26 PM Phoenix (0-0) at Seattle (0-1) 10:30 pm EDT

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Rookie Kevin Durant hopes to have a better performance and outcome at KeyArena.

Durant and the Seattle SuperSonics welcome in the Phoenix Suns for their home opener on Thursday.

The 19-year-old swingman was less than impressive in his NBA debut, scoring 18 points on just 7-of-22 shooting in Wednesday's 120-103 setback to the Denver Nuggets.

"I can't describe it, it was a great feeling" Durant said of his first NBA game. "My teammates did a great job of getting me open shots. I just need to knock them down."

Durant was taken second overall in June's draft after one stellar season at Texas.

Seattle's other top rookie Jeff Green - fifth overall - also struggled in his first career outing, going just 1-0f-2 for five points in 18 minutes off the bench.

The young Sonics will have their hands full with the Suns, who are looking to finally put it all together and make it to the NBA Finals.

The trio of Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire will once again supply Phoenix with all the scoring it will need this coming campaign. Newcomer Grant Hill should also add a new threat for coach Mike D'Antoni's fast-break style offense.

"(Hill) makes us a tougher team to defend and much less predictable," Nash said. "When that ball gets swung around, instead of going to a guy who can only shoot it, we have a guy who can shoot, who can drive and finish and who can pass with play-making ability.

"We're more balanced and teams will have to adjust to that. He's hungry to win and he's going to be another person pushing the team to be at its best."

Speedy guard Leandro Barbosa will use his shooting ability to lead the second unit for the Suns, who are one of the two or three title contenders in the deep Western Conference.

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